"Dr. T & the Women"
In the late 1990s, Texas native Anne Rapp interrupted her successful career as a script supervisor to sign a screenwriting contract with the iconic director Robert Altman. Even though Rapp never worked for Altman as a script supervisor, she knew him socially and so impressed the director with her short stories that he wanted her to write film and TV scripts for him. Rapp followed up the “All the President’s Women” episode of Altman’s 1997 TV series Gunwith the 1999 ensemble comedy Cookie’s Fortuneand 2000’s Dr. T & the Womenfor Altman. She even wrote a Short Cutssequel at Altman’s behest, which the director ultimately decided not to film. The Austin Film Festival will present a 20thanniversary screening of Cookie’s Fortuneat 4 p.m. Sunday, June 2 with the Austin-based Anne Rapp in attendance for a post-screening conversation. The Mississippi-set Cookie’s Fortuneis a non-murder murder mystery. Patricia Neal’s elderly widow Jewel Mae "Cookie" Orcutt kills herself because she misses her late husband. Her niece Camille Dixon (Glenn Close) covers up the suicide to avoid bringing shame upon herself and her quiet younger sister Cora Duvall (Julianne Moore). This results in the police coming to the conclusion that Cookie was the victim of foul play, and suspicion immediately falls on Cookie’s live-in handyman Willis (Charles S. Dutton). Cookie’s Fortune’s cast also includes Liv Tyler, Courtney B. Vance, Chris O'Donnell, Ned Beatty, and Lyle Lovett. As with Cookie’s Fortune, Anne Rapp based Dr. T & the Women on one of her short stories. This Dallas-based ensemble dramedy stars Richard Gere as Dr. Sullivan Travis, a high-profile gynecologist who enters into an affair with golf pro Bree (Helen Hunt) after his ill wife Kate (Farrah Fawcett) enters a state mental hospital. Travis also must contend with the drama surrounding his two daughters, Dee Dee (Kate Hudson) and Connie (Tara Reid) on the eve of Dee Dee’s wedding. Dr. T & the Women’s cast also includes Laura Dern, Shelley Long, and Liv Tyler. Anne Rapp’s career as a script supervisor began with 1983’s Tender Merciesand continued with such films as Places in the Heart, The Color Purple, True Stories, Crimes of the Heart, The Accidental Tourist, Uncle Buck, Death Becomes Her, That Thing You Do!, and The Green Hornet. She retired after 2014’s Sex Tape. In addition to writing for Robert Altman, Rapp also wrote the CMT variety show Stars Over Texasand co-wrote the Bob Willis musical A Ride With Bob. She is currently writing her memoirs and completing a documentary about playwright and screenwriter Horton Foote, who won an Oscar for Tender Mercies.
Aired: May 27, 2019